Aid workers were finally allowed into besiged Syrian town Madaya this week. As predicted, they found desperate, starving citizens. Read the Reuters report: Heartbreak in starving Syrian town about emaciated and starving residents, with hundreds in need of specialised medical help.
On the weekend we ran international affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe’s scorching essay, Class war returns, this time as a global issue. There is no report that better illustrates why this matters to everyone than Sunday’s bizarre tale of how wealthy Brits are in high dudgeon. Their golf club was taken over by even-wealthier foreigners, and they’re being edged out. After you’ve read Manthorpe read, Globalization: elite British golfers rue sale to Chinese investors on F&O.
On Monday we ran two stories about David Bowie’s death, the report, Cancer claims music legend Davie Bowie, 69; and an analysis of his impact: David Bowie, an extraordinary innovator. Below are some recommendations, from elsewhere on the Internet, that are worth your time:
Nothing Remains: David Bowie’s Vision of Love. By Simon Critchley, New York Times, Jan. 11, 2016
For the hundreds of thousands of ordinary working-class boys and girls in England in the early 1970s, including me, Bowie incarnated something glamorous, enticing, exciting and mysterious: a world of unknown pleasures and sparkling intelligence. He offered an escape route from the suburban hellholes that we inhabited. Bowie spoke most eloquently to the disaffected, to those who didn’t feel right in their skin, the socially awkward, the alienated. He spoke to the weirdos, the freaks, the outsiders and drew us in to an extraordinary intimacy, although we knew this was total fantasy. But make no mistake, this was a love story. A love story that, in my case, has lasted about 44 years. … read Nothing Remains: David Bowie’s Vision of Love
David Bowie Allowed His Art to Deliver a Final Message
By Joe Coscarelli and Michael Paulson, New York Times, Jan. 11, 2016.
In the video for David Bowie’s “Lazarus,” released last week, the mythic singer and rock ’n’ roll shape-shifter, ever thin but bordering on gaunt, is blindfolded and writhing in a hospital bed. “Look up here, I’m in heaven,” he sings. “I’ve got scars that can’t be seen.” In the end, a shaking Mr. Bowie retreats backward into a darkened armoire.
Mr. Bowie, who in his 50-year career reimagined the worlds of pop music, art and fashion, told very few people about the cancer that preceded his death on Sunday, at 69, a year and a half after his diagnosis. Even those working closely with him on a sudden burst of new projects were surprised to learn he had been dying.
At the same time, it turns out, he was telling everyone through his art. … read David Bowie Allowed His Art to Deliver a Final Message.
In David Bowie coverage, the media forgot to mention a major aspect of the rockstar’s life.
By Bill Wyman, Columbia Journalism Review, Jan. 12, 2016
One aspect of Bowie’s life was left out of much of the tributary coverage … that Bowie was the first major rock star to say he was gay… read In David Bowie coverage, the media forgot to mention a major aspect of the rockstar’s life.
Twitter: David Bowie’s last tweet
Watch: David Bowie – Lazarus
On other matters, ProPublica provides a smart reading guide to US President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address (somewhat like the throne speech under the British Parliamentary system) today. Read A Primer to President Obama’s Final State of the Union, by Adam Harris, ProPublica.
Finally, going viral this week is a video of a giant bear being cuddled by a 59-year-old man. Unexpected? Yes. Manipulative? Yes. Worth a look? Yeah, that, too.
Someone asked for video of Jim and Jimbo playing. I found this on my phone! 🙂
Posted by Orphaned Wildlife Center on Saturday, 2 January 2016
Our new works also include:
To Protect Monarch Butterfly, Save Sacred Firs./JANET MARINELLI Report
The racist in the mirror/TOM REGAN, Summoning Orenda Column
DAL RICHARDS: The bandleader who almost lived forever/ROD MICKLEBURGH Arts column
Denmark dumped malpractice, and improved patient safety./OLGA PIERCE & MARSHALL ALLEN Report
Auld Lang Syne changed en route to world domination/ KIRSTEEN McCUE Arts Report
Fireworks: our prettiest pollutant/GARY FULLER Report
Migrants to Europe via sea top one million in 2015/SEBASTIEN MALO Report
Disneyfied Star Wars an iconic kids’ flick/PENNEY KOME Column
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